Mindful eating is one of the many habits you should adopt in order to lose weight faster. Some nutritionists and dieticians say that its a magic pill or strategy on how to control your food intake.
Mindful eating is eating while putting all your emphasis on food without distractions. It is used to treat many eating disorders, depression, food-related behaviors, and to some extent weight loss.
What is mindful eating?
Mindful eating is a technique that involves the acknowledgment and management of emotions and physical sensations as you eat. It is more than just eating slowly or chewing thoroughly, but rather a series of actions that involves paying attention to every moment and experience of eating.
Here is a breakdown of mindful eating.
- Eating slowly without any distractions like tv, phone, family.
- Listening to your body signals of hunger and satisfaction then stop eating when you are full.
- Putting your mind on food, noticing the color, aroma, and flavor of every bite.
- Eating with the aim of overall body health and wellbeing.
- Focusing on the effects food has on your feelings.
- Distinguishing between hunger and non-hunger food needs.
- Wisely choosing foods that will benefit your body and satisfy you.
What is binge eating?
Binge eating is eating large amounts of food mindlessly, without control, and in a very short period. It is the opposite of mindful eating.
It is linked to many eating disorders and weight gain. With binge eating you have less control over your eating especially how much you consume at a particular time.
People who eat mindlessly tend to consume more calories which eventually leads to weight gain.
How do you practice mindful eating?
Enough of all the mindful stories without knowing how to do mindful eating the right way.
1. Eat and chew slowly.
Take time and eat slowly without rushing. This helps you have control over your food intake ensuring you practice mindful eating.
When you rush with your eating, the chances of gaining weight are high because you won’t have full control of your eating.
2. Do away with distractions.
Turn off the tv, get off your work table, and put down your phone. This gives you focus and full control of the entire eating process.
3. Focus on the effect of food on your body.
Focusing on how food makes you feel is very important. It helps you know when you are satisfied so as you stop eating.
4. Stop eating when you feel satisfied.
The essence of mindful eating is controlling your eating. Therefore, as soon as you feel satisfied immediately stop eating.
5. Eat after experiencing real hunger signals.
Indicators like low energy levels, stomach growling, or yawning are the real indicators of hunger and they should be the signal to eat. Don’t eat just because you are bored, sad, or lonely.
6. Avoid multi-tasking.
The time you spend on yourself is very valuable. Avoid multitasking while eating. If its 30 minutes you have for lunch, avoid doing any other thing and focus on eating instead.
7. Eat with others at a specific time and place.
You should eat at specific times for example lunch at 1 pm. Avoid eating at random times or when you are alone. Eating with family or friends at a specific time helps you to practice mindful eating.
8. Serve yourself food that you will finish.
Always serve yourself food that you will finish up. Try using small plates. This is because small plates help you to control the amount of food you serve yourself.
9. Don’t skip meals.
When you skip a meal, you will not be to make healthy food choices due to high levels of hunger. You will be forced to grab any food available, eat very fast, and probably contradict all actions of the mindful eating.
10. Respect the food.
Honor the food and be thankful you have it. With mindfulness, eating is showing gratitude as you eat your food.
Why is mindful eating important?
After enjoying mindful eating many people have changed life for the better.
Enough time to recognize body signals.
With mindful eating, you get enough time to fully listen to your body as well as interpret its signals. For example, it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to realize that you are full. If you are eating too fast, your body will not get the time to translate body signals.
Better body signal translation.
You get to know your body signals much better while on mindful eating. It increases the recognition of hunger and fullness signals. This helps you to control your eating since you can easily distinguish between emotional or true hunger triggers.
Eating slowly while listening to your body signals helps weight loss. Paying attention to what you eat, eating with a healthy perspective, eating when you are hungry and more mindful related habits helps you to lose weight.
Reduces calorie intake.
Mindful eating can help you limit the number of calories you eat. Eating slowly, putting the fork down as soon as you stop eating, and more will limit your calorie intake.
Less binge eating and eating disorders.
Adopting mindful eating can help you overcome binge eating, cravings, and eating disorders like Anorexia nervosa, Bulimia nervosa, and other related food eating disorders.
Eating slowly and mindfully ensures fewer food disorders like indigestion or constipation since food is chewed thoroughly. Being mindful of the foods you eat helps you to make wise food choices such as fiber foods that can ease digestion.
A better taste for food.
Eating food slowly and chewing thoroughly gives a better taste of food since you fully focus on food. You will enjoy your food more when you eat mindfully.
You control your food intake.
Eating mindfully can help you take control of your food intake and cravings. You will be able to have control over what you eat, make healthy choices, and not the other way round.
Can you lose weight with mindful eating?
Mindful eating is one of the habits listed among healthy eating habits to achieve weight loss. Taking control of your eating habits has a great influence on your calorie intake and food control.
Many eating disorders and conditions like binge eating, mid-night snacking, emotional eating, and eating in response to the cravings desire are some of the known habits that make you gain weight even after a successful weight loss.
People who eat quickly tend to gain weight faster compared to those that practice mindful eating. When you eat fast you will have less control over your food intake or your hunger and satisfaction signals. you most certainly eat more than what you need.
Therefore, mindful eating can help you take control of your food intake and eating habits. With mindful eating, you will stop eating the moment you feel full. This will help avoid extra calorie intake.
Eating with the aim of overall health as emphasized by mindful eating, helps you consume healthily hence helping weight loss.
Having said that, our readers should know that in order to lose weight, there must be in a calorie deficit, which is achieved by eating weight loss-friendly foods and doing calorie-burning exercise.
Mindful eating should therefore not be adopted as a weight loss strategy but rather part of a big plan that involves eating weight loss-friendly foods, practicing weight loss habits, and doing calorie-burning exercises.
Can mindfully eating help with unhealthy eating behaviors.
There are many mindless eating behaviors such as binge eating, external eating and emotional eating to respond to certain emotions such as depression, loneliness, boredom, and excitement.
External eating occurs when one eats in response to food-related cues like the sight of it, its aroma, or being with people that are eating.
All these are unhealthy eating behaviors and often lead to weight gain to people who frequently practice them.
With mindful eating however, one can get control over his or her eating behaviors.
The bottom line.
Practice mindful eating to get rid of unhealthy eating behaviors such as binge, emotional, and external eating which all lead to weight gain.
In short, with mindful eating, one can achieve weight loss easily if he or she is on a proper weight loss diet and does regular exercise.
Although mindful eating can aid weight loss, it shouldn’t be taken as the main weight loss strategy but rather part of a big weight loss plan such as a weight loss diet, healthy habits, and workouts.